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Diocese a partner in Sydney Alliance

By Evan Ellis

Creating a just society isn’t easy. Many of us know what we would like our world to look like but are less sure about how to achieve our vision.

This is where the Sydney Alliance comes in. Haven’t heard of it? Don’t worry, you will.

The Sydney Alliance is a coalition, even a meeting place for religious groups, unions and community groups to come together to work together for a more just and livable Sydney; one that mirrors the hopes and aspirations of Sydney-siders rather than big business and the dollar imperative.

The Diocese of Parramatta, along with the Archdiocese of Sydney, the Jewish board of Deputies, the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union and the Arab Council Australia among others, is a partner organisation of the Sydney Alliance.

The Church has always been a strategic player in civil society, with a particular interest in promoting the common good.

The Sydney Alliance and member organisations seek to strengthen civil society by strengthening member organisations and searching for common ground and issues that unite us.

Practically, this means running two- and six-day training institutes to get people to unpack their experience (why am I here?) and to equip them with the tools to realise, in partnership with others, the hopes and ambitions drawn from their personal narrative.

In addition to the training days, the Sydney Alliance hosts assemblies, invites international guest speakers and provides forums on leadership to continue momentum.

The Sydney Alliance is about building networks, smashing stereotypes, up-skilling leaders and providing a space to pool our learnings and experiences so we can work more effectively.

At a two-day training day hosted by St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith a man next to me said, “Even if this all falls down tomorrow, it’s been worth it for what’s come out of it already.”

A case in point is when the Parramatta City Council drafted a set of restrictive development guidelines for places of public worship in the area. A joint response was issued by Church leaders of the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting traditions, the first of its kind.

Such a public display of solidarity and ecumenism received not only a swift response but came out of the extensive networking and sharing opportunities offered by the Sydney Alliance.

There are many more stories I could tell. But, more importantly, we want the people of our Diocese to make their own stories. With more training days coming up I extend the same invitation Philip gave to Nathanael, “Come and see.”

For more information about the Sydney Alliance please contact Evan Ellis, diocesan Social Justice Co-ordinator, tel (02) 8838 3413 or 0457 812 159,

« Return to Catholic Outlook May 2010

He took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened.Luke 24:13-35

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